Sharjah/Ras Al Khaimah: With Ramadan starting tomorrow, top traffic police officials in the UAE have urged motorists to buckle up, adhere to the speed limit, maintain a safe distance and drive defensively.
Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Alay Al Naqbi, Director of the Sharjah Police Traffic and Patrol Department, told Gulf News: “We urge motorists not to rush as this put them, their family and others at risk. Drivers should adhere to the speed limit and maintain a safe distance and drive responsibly, especially during the holy month of Ramadan,” he added.
Lt Col Al Naqbi called on members of the public to monitor violators of traffic regulations on the roads of the emirate and inform the police of any wrong behaviour on the police number 901.
He added: “Motorists should abide by traffic rules in the month of Ramadan and show patience and restraint with other drivers during the hours prior to iftar [the time of ending the fast at sunset]. The department will [also] facilitate the movement of worshippers at the entry and exit points of mosques.”
The director said Sharjah’s traffic department will deploy 100 traffic patrols, especially close to prayer times, and pointed out that “enforcement officers are cracking down on motorists who commit offenses that undermine road safety”.
Lt Col Al Naqbi urged all drivers to avoid committing violations when parking their vehicles, especially in front of mosques.
Traffic patrols will be deployed on key roads in the emirate to reduce accidents and ensure smooth traffic flow, besides distributing iftar meals to motorists on the roads.
He added: “To ensure all roads are safe, we have intensified our patrols on highways, intersections, roundabouts, shopping areas and crowded places in all parts of Sharjah city in order to maintain safety and security. We are also using traffic patrols to regulate entry and exit to and from mosque parking lots during prayer times. Our main objective is to reduce all negative phenomenon and negative behaviour among some motorists who cause traffic delays.”
Lt Col Al Naqbi appealed to community members to exercise caution and not to let their children go out of the house, especially before iftar, to prevent accidents near residential buildings, on internal roads and in public parks.
• Follow the speed limit
• Leave safe distance between vehicles
• Avoid using mobile phone and other distractions
• Signal when changing lanes
• Drive defensively
• Park on the hard shoulder if you’re feeling unwell and call for help
Crackdown on beggars, roadside vendors
He also advised jaywalkers to cross roads only at designated points and use footbridges. He added that legal action will be taken against those who impede traffic flow, particularly near mosques at prayer time. Police officers also have instructions to arrest beggars. Police have earlier urged residents to only donate money through authorised charities.
Lt Col Al Naqbi warned the public against encouraging beggars and street vendors. He advised people to call the Criminal Investigation Department on 80040 or call 901, or access the ‘guard’ service available on the smart app of Sharjah Police or through its website. He urged the public to call 999 in case of genuine emergencies and 901 for all non-emergency cases.
He also urged motorists not to leave any valuable items in their car while they are performing prayer.
Lt Col Al Naqbi said the Ramadan cannon will be at four locations in emirate of Sharjah - Al Majaz waterfront in Sharjah city, Hison Al Dhaid in Central Region, Clock Tower in Kalba city, and Khorfakkan Amphitheatre in Khorfakkan. He urged motorists who will go to watch Ramadan cannons to park their vehicles in the designated area and avoid random parking.
Meanwhile Ras Al Khaimah Police said most accidents in Ramadan take place before sunset for iftar as a result of speeding or jumping the red signal in order to hurry home.
10 serious mistakes
Brigadier Dr Mohammad Saeed Al Hamidi, Director-General of Central Operations at Ras Al Khaimah Police said police records show 10 major mistakes that road users make while driving that cause fatal accidents. These include: speeding, especially before iftar time; exhaustion and fatigue due to lack of sleep; wrong overtaking; reckless driving; not leaving enough distance between vehicles; lack of lane discipline; using a mobile phone while driving; reversing the vehicle without making sure the road is clear; not paying attention and entering the road before it is clear; and not estimating the correct distance on the part of road users as a result of lack of concentration during fasting.
Brig Al Hamidi pointed out that traffic violations also occur during Tarawih prayers - extra night prayers held in Ramadan at mosques - because some people park their cars in places that obstruct the movement of other vehicles.
He called on drivers with diabetes to follow up on their health throughout the fasting period and if they are not feeling up to the mark, they should stop their vehicles on the shoulder of the road and call an ambulance through the central operating room to obtain medical support.